Factors Influencing the Natural Forest Regeneration at Khadimnagar National Park, Bangladesh
Natural regeneration is an indicator of a healthy forest, hence, understanding the influence of site factors on natural regeneration is a significant concern for ecologists. This work aimed to assess the impact of site factors on natural tree regeneration at Khadimnagar National Park (KNP). Biotic factors (tree density, tree species richness, and basal area), physical factors (elevation, canopy openness), and soil properties (bulk density, moisture content, soil pH, organic matter, sand, silt, and clay) data were investigated from 71 sample plots to examine their effects on natural regeneration density and richness in KNP. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was done to predict both regeneration density and regeneration richness. The results showed that soil pH (p<0.001), canopy openness (p<0.001), tree species richness (p<0.01), and bulk density (p<0.01) had a significant effect on regeneration density, explaining 42% of the total variation. Regeneration richness was driven by four factors: tree species richness (p<0.01), soil pH (p<0.001), elevation (p<0.01), and canopy openness (p<0.01) with a model that explained 60% of the total variation. This study observed that soil pH, tree species richness, and canopy openness are the main controlling factors that influenced both the density and richness of regenerating species in KNP. Therefore, these findings have implications for natural resource management, especially in selecting suitable silvicultural systems in a tropical forest under protected area management where enhanced tree cover and conservation of biodiversity are needed.
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